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Of Cyborgs and Starmen

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Science fiction has a powerful grip on popular music, from Ziggy Stardust to R&B singer's Janelle Monae's current android alter-ego. Today, we explore how the literary genre continues to shape music. Author Rick Moody, whose new novel The Four Fingers of Death involves a mission to Mars, joins us along with WNYC and WQXR host David Garland. Plus, Josh Ritter plays live from his new album So Runs the World Away, and talks about his spectacular recovery from writer's block.

How Sci-Fi Shapes Pop

Long before R&B singer Janelle Monae invented an android alter ego, and even before David Bowie became Ziggy Stardust, science fiction has had a powerful grip on popular music. Today: we explore the power of a literary genre that continues to shape music on the dance floor (as in the latest songs of Christina Aguilera) and in films (Hans Zimmer’s score to the sci-fi thriller “Inception”). 

Long before R&B singer Janelle Monae invented an android alter ego, and even before David Bowie became Ziggy Stardust, science fiction has had a powerful grip on popular music. Today: we explore the power of a literary genre that continues to shape music on the dance floor (as in the latest songs of Christina Aguilera) and in films (Hans Zimmer’s score to the sci-fi thriller “Inception”). Guests include bestselling author Rick Moody, whose new novel, “The Four Fingers of Death” is set in the future and involves a mission to Mars.

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Josh Ritter: Live

Josh Ritter's recently released sixth album, So Runs the World Away, was created after many transitions for the singer-songwriter. The Idaho-born 33-year-old got married to fellow singer Dawn Landes and moved to New York. Musically, he hit a writer’s block unlike any he’d experienced before. He worked through it, and came up with an album inspired by science and history, nature and religion. Ritter joins us to perform a live acoustic set in the studio.

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Space Is The Place

Female pop singers get into sci-fi.  John Schaefer asks, what took you so long? 

Gig Alerts: Ideal Bread

This ensemble dedicated to championing the music of the late jazz composer Steve Lacy performs at Douglass Street Music Collective tonight. Download their take on the Lacy tune "As Usual."

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Sir Richard Bishop

Gig Alerts: Sir Richard Bishop

The seasoned guitarist and former member of the Sun City Girls performs at Zebulon tonight. Download his track "Strum and a Gallop" -- a Music Hub exclusive.

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Gig Alerts: Magic Kids

The indie pop-rock outfit play aboard the Half Moon as part of the Rocks Off Concert Cruise series tonight. Download their darling new track "Summer."

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